Before we explore what personal injury is, and what the laws surrounding it covers, we should first explain what a “tort” is, since you will be hearing it a bit if you have recently been injured and are seeking damages for it. If you have been injured and are just starting to research your options, this should be a good resource to help you get up to speed. In addition to independent research, we suggest meeting with some personal injury attorneys for initial consultations, or using a service like 1-800 INJURED to get paired with the right lawyer for the job.
What Is a Tort?
Simply put, a tort is a wrongful act that leads to civil action. The specific action may additionally qualify for a criminal action – such as an assault – but the tort itself only speaks to the civil nature of the act, and the legal repercussions for it. Torts have their own section in the Florida Statutes.
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Law
In criminal law, the action is perceived to be an offense against the general public, like DUI (driving under the influence). A civil offense is a wrong done against an individual, like a premise liability.
Criminal cases have a higher burden of proof to convict the defendant, are initiated by the government, and the ensuing punishment could involve jail time, criminal records, fines, and more. In a civil case, there is a lower burden of proof, the charges can be initiated by the injured party, and the punishment is financial in nature.
What Is a Personal Injury Tort?
Personal injury torts deal with issues that have caused the injury or death of another party, by either negligence or malice.
“Personal” means that the injury is to the victim’s person, as opposed to property damage, and the following lawsuit will seek financial damages for things like medical bills, recovery costs, lost wages, and “noneconomic damages” like pain and suffering. These issues can be more complicated than a property damage case, because there is a fairly simple way to calculate the value of property, whereas calculating the overall damage to a person, both physically and psychologically, can be more complicated and abstract.
Types of Personal Injury Torts
There are a variety of personal injury torts, and each has different requirements, expectations, and processes appended to them. Below are a few examples of common cases that personal injury lawyers represent in Miami:
Medical malpractice cases state that the doctor or medical professional breached their duties to keep their patient safe. This could include things such as misdiagnosed illnesses, surgical errors, or incorrect prescribing.
Car accidents are extremely common in Florida, and therefore car accident personal injury cases are common as well.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall cases are also known as “premise liability” cases, and seek to prove that the party responsible for the injury should have known, and remedied, the hazardous situation that led to the injury.
Unfortunately, Florida is a very dangerous state for bicyclists, and has a high rate of accidents involving cyclists and cars. As you can imagine, this means that there are a lot of personal injury torts stemming from bicycle accidents.
More About Torts
If you want to learn all about torts and how Florida handles them, take a look at the Florida Statutes and find the subsection most relevant to your questions. They are extremely dry and complex, though, so speaking with a personal injury attorney will be a much easier way to make sense of your situation.
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